Turkmenistan Creates Domestic Abuse Hotline
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 2:15 PM

4 November 2009

In September of 2009, the Turkmen government and the OSCE mission in Ashgabat opened the country’s first domestic abuse hotline.

Domestic violence, rape, and slave labor are widespread problems for women in Turkmenistan, but there are few victims’ resources available. The government’s tight restrictions on NGOs make it difficult to create organizations raising awareness of domestic abuse or offering rehabilitative services for victims. Women in Turkmenistan are hesitant to report abuse to police because the country’s traditional patriarchal culture discourages seeking outside help for family problems. The new hotline offers an anonymous means for victims of domestic abuse to seek advice and counseling.

Women’s rights activists state that much more still needs to be done to combat domestic violence in Turkmenistan. Despite ratifying the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1996, a working group at the UN Human Rights Council reported last December that Turkmenistan has failed to implement any local legislation establishing mechanisms for preventing domestic abuse or treating victims of domestic violence.

Compiled from: "Domestic Abuse Hotline Launched in Turkmenistan," Institute for War and Peace Reporting (7 October 2009).